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Support: Part III of the hidden costs of Exchange providers

In case you missed it: Read Part I and Part II of this series.

Here’s what I have to do when I need to call my health insurance company or my cable TV provider:

  • I block an hour on my calendar
  • I make sure I have a headset so that my hands are free to do other things while I wait
  • I do some online research to learn how to cut through the menus and actually get a live human on the phone
  • I take a deep breath and try to stay calm

It works. Sometimes.

There’s a price tag for being on hold

This scenario is already unacceptable for consumers. For businesses, the word “unacceptable” falls infinitely short of describing this.

That’s because at home, the opportunity cost of the time I wasted on hold can be measured in terms of dishes undone or dogs unwalked. But at work—well, every minute an IT admin spends on hold has far higher costs. Users unserviced. Apps undeveloped. Opportunities un-seized.

That’s why, when you’re evaluating an IT provider, you need to consider levels of support. If your provider routinely keeps your team on hold—and creates all the frustration and anger that accompanies long hold times—then what you’re really experiencing is the hidden price tag of low levels of support.

A real person, right away

Forrester Research stated earlier this year that business customers want pain-free service experiences. They also found that customers still prefer a phone conversation over other communication channels.

So when you’re researching cloud IT providers, here’s what you can look for to ensure a worry-free experience—and to avoid the hidden costs of poor support:

  1. All hours availability. You’d be surprised how much you’ll value 24/7 phone support.
  2. Short hold times. Your provider should promise typical hold times of 60 seconds or less
  3. Support by certified experts. The person answering the phone should be able to solve your problem, as opposed to writing it down and passing it to someone else.
  4. No “critical issue” threshold.  You should be able to ask any question you want, no matter how trivial, and get an answer. You certainly shouldn’t be forced into self-help databases or support forums.
  5. Commitment to resolution. The provider’s support teams should be willing to stay with you until your issue is resolved.

These are not beyond reach. You can get all of them. Go to intermedia.net to learn more.

Learn how Intermedia’s Office in the Cloud compares against other providers.

 

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia